Investigation of Utilizing Single Surface Depressions in Optimization of NLF Aerofoil Design

Richard McRoberts, Juliana Early, Stephen Spence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


An environment has been created for the optimisation of aerofoil profiles with inclusion of small surface features. For TS wave dominated flows, the paper examines the consequences of the addition of a depression on the aerodynamic optimisation of an NLF aerofoil, and describes the geometry definition fidelity and optimisation algorithm employed in the development process. The variables that define the depression for this optimisation investigation have been fixed, however a preliminary study is presented demonstrating the sensitivity of the flow to the depression characteristics. Solutions to the optimisation problem are then presented using both gradient-based and genetic algorithm techniques, and for accurate representation of the inclusion of small surface perturbations it is concluded that a global optimisation method is required for this type of aerofoil optimisation task due to the nature of the response surface generated. When dealing with surface features, changes in the transition onset are likely to be of a non-linear nature so it is highly critical to have an optimisation algorithm that is robust, suggesting that for this framework, gradient-based methods alone are not suited.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 28th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference 2011
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

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